Interviews can be boring and they generally lack any interesting interview questions. No one really likes them but they have to be done.
When you are a manager, it can be difficult to pick the best questions to ask. You want to get to know the candidate without stepping over the line.
So what you really need is a list of brilliant interview questions? Well, we have you covered!
15 Best Interesting Interview Questions
Being prepared for an interview is a must. From making sure you have the right paperwork to preparing the best interesting interview questions, it can be a chore. But don't worry, we have you covered.
1. What were you like in high school?
No matter what age the candidate is, this question will really make them think.
2. If I were to hire you for this job and I granted you three promises with regard to working here, what would they be?
If you want to know what their expectations for the role are, ask this question.
3. Teach me something I don’t know in the next five minutes.
If you are hiring for a fast-paced job and want to see if someone can think of their feet, this question is the one to ask.
4. What do you work toward in your free time?
A person's list of hobbies can tell a lot about them. And yes, Netflix is an appropriate answer.
5. How would you rate your memory?
Being able to retain information and use it whenever you need, it's a must-have in any job.
6. How would you value the store on the corner?
Figure out how a candidate views the world around them by asking this question.
7. Describe the color yellow to somebody who is blind.
Communication is key in any job. Test their communication skills with this question.
8. What's your work-life spirit animal?
If the candidate could tell you more about how they approach their tasks, they might say, "with the drive of a lion." They might find the precision of a hawk or eagle comparable to themselves.
9. Did you reach your full potential in your previous job?
The candidate will reveal where they believe themselves to be along the trajectory of their own potential. How much do they believe in their worth? How actively have their taken the bull by the horns in life?
10. What is one thing at which you're a true expert?
The depth and awareness of their choice will tell you whether you've got a critical thinker or a more superficial individual before you.
11. What's your quirk?
This question reveals a candidate's openness and courage to see themselves as unique.
12. Describe a situation that you should have handled differently.
Their response will tell you a lot about how and how much a candidate is willing and able to learn from their mistakes. Hint: The candidate should say a lot more than that they simply won't do it again.
13. Have you recently experienced any hilarious moments about yourself?
How seriously does the candidate take themselves? Can they see the humor in all things? You'll weed out any potential ego issues before they start to fester.
14. Why do you think that the tennis ball is fuzzy or furry?
Reflecting on seemingly mundane ideas will reveal the candidate's ability to be thoughtful and clever on the fly.
15. If you compare yourself to any animal which is the one similar to you?
Animals represent universal archetypes. You'll discover which archetypes the candidate values. You can decide whether they are congruent to your company culture.
17 Engaging Topics To Talk About With An Interviewee
It is very easy to stick to a script when you are interviewing people, but those interview questions only give you a small insight into the person.
When interviewing, you should ask some get to know you questions, so you can figure out if the person will fit in with your company and other employees.
16. Tell me about yourself.
This is a basic question but can be very revealing.
17. Why should we hire you?
A question that always puts someone on the spot. Most candidates will have an answer for this.
18. What motivates you?
Money is obviously the most obvious motivator, but some people's motivation might surprise you.
19. What are your skills?
They may not be Liam Nesson with a very particular set of skills, but the skills they do have will tell you a lot about them as a person.
20. How do you feel when someone criticizes your work?
Taking criticism is all part of learning and if they don't respond well, they won't learn much.
21. Who are your role models and mentors?
You never know. You both might have the same role models.
That's such a coincidence. My role model is Tom Brady too!
22. What are your favorite industry websites, books or other resources?
This question will give you an idea of how much they're interested in this area of work.
23. You're hosting a dinner party. It will be you and three guests, who can be alive or dead, real or fictional, but not family or a love interest. Who will you invite, and what will you serve?
You'll find out what sort of people and qualities the candidate values. You'll get a glimpse of how they would host a gathering.
24. In what areas do you typically have the least patience at work?
We all get impatient. Whether it's with people or technology, pacing or quality control, you'll find out where and if the candidate is meticulous and how that will fit in with current employees. Impatience is not always a bad thing. It can reveal very high standards. It can also say something about one's communication skills.
25. If someone wrote a biography about your life, what would the title be?
What does the candidate see as the most important facet of his existence so far?
26. What are three negative personal qualities that someone close to you would say you possess?
You'll find out how authentic and honest the person is, and how confident they are with their faults. You'll really want to steer clear of people who are unaware of their faults. Extra points for candidates who can openly and even humorously reflect on themselves. They are your golden tickets.
27. On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the absolute best in the world at your role, where would you rate yourself? And what keeps you from being a 10?
You'll find out how confident your candidate is in showing some humility. You'll find out whether they are aware that there's always room for growth.
28. If It Were Possible To Colonize Mars In Our Lifetime, Would You Go? Why Or Why Not?
Is the candidate outwardly focused, or do they express value and responsibility toward the planet we already live on and solving the environmental issues we have at home before we run off and potentially ruin other planets?
29. What Would Be Your “Perfect” Day?
The candidate will reveal what meets their standards for better than average.
30. Would You Rather Have A Lot Of Good Friends Or One Absolute Buddy?
Introverts and extroverts both have great strengths. Even better are ambiverts that go both ways depending on the situation.
31. Would You Rather Work More Hours Per Day, But Fewer Days, Or Work Fewer Hours Per Day, But More Days?
Scheduling preferences always need consideration.
32. Would You Rather Become A Millionaire By Winning The Lottery Or From Your Own Work?
How does the candidate connect the value of their work and creations with money? Others see their passions as separate from finances
17 Personal Topics To Raise When Questioning An Interviewee
While personal questions are a great way to get to know someone, you need to tread lightly when using them.
Keep the personal questions general and keep the overall conversation light.
33. What do you hope to gain from a new role with us?
For some people it's money. For others, it's the experience. Find out which with this interview question.
34. What questions do you have for us?
While you might think that you have explained the position well, the candidate may have some questions for you.
35. Why did you choose the degree/career path/training that you did?
This is a great interview question to understand their initial goals and whether their goals have changed since they graduated.
36. How do you choose what companies and roles to apply to?
This will give you an idea as to the companies you are competing against and whether you can offer as good a package.
37. How do you think your family and friends would describe you?
Self-awareness is a great trait for any potential employee. Test their self-awareness with this question.
38. If you get the job, what do you hope to accomplish in your first week, month and year?
Goals are important. Self-assigned goals are effective. Find out what their goals are with this interview question.
39. Where do you believe our industry/profession will be in 5 or 10 years?
This question will show you how self-motivated the candidate is.
40. What’s something you’d be happy doing every day for the rest of your career?
This is a great question to ask. Their answer will let you know if the position is helping them fulfill life goals.
41. What's something you haven't told us, but that we'll likely find out about you in three months?
This question sets strong boundaries around you, the employer. It lets candidates know that you demand integrity transparency from the get-go.
42. If I saw you with your friends on your best day, what would you be doing and what part would you play in the group?
You'll find out how the candidate is aware of intricate social dynamics.
43. Tell me about the last gift you gave a non-family member and why you gave it to them.
We use gives to send messages to each other. Gifts are about genuine gratitude. They can also be about initiating connections and building rapport.
44. When I speak to your last boss, what is he or she going to say about you?
You're letting the candidate know that you take job references seriously. You'll also find out how aware the candidate is of how their former employers perceive them.
45. Give me the first name of someone with whom you work very closely.
Getting references is a great way to further gauge a candidate.
46. Would You Rather Have A Photographic Memory Or Gain An Extra 40 IQ Points?
They're both valuable gifts. You'll find out how the candidate weighs memorization and critical thinking against each other.
47. What Are The Best Perks That You Have Ever Had At A Job?
How does the candidate interpret "perks?" Are these perks in service to the company, like "genuine connections with team members?" Or are they more selfish?
48. Eliminate One Thing From Your Daily Schedule, What Would It Be And Why?
What does the candidate dread? Or consider it a waste of their time?
49. What Is The Most Important Personal Attribute That You Bring To Your Job?
You'll discover the candidate's awareness of their strengths.
17 Thought-Provoking Things To Ask Managers
Hiring managers is one of the most difficult things to do. You have to make sure that they're authoritative enough to get the job done but also friendly enough that they create good professional relationships with employees.
When picking interview questions for managers, make sure that you pick ones that will help you pick the perfect candidate:
50. If you’re offered more than one job, how will you decide which one to accept?
Being able to identify the pros and cons and prioritize one thing over another is essentially the job.
51. Do you want to become a manager, leader, or executive in our company?
This questions is a great way of identifying personal goals and where the candidate sees themselves in 5 years.
52. What kind of work would make you excited to get out of bed on Monday morning?
Motivation get you out of bed in the morning. You're just asking if the job will do the same.
53. Tell me about a time you let an employee go.
Letting an employee go is a very difficult situation. It's the way it's handled that separates the good candidates from the great candidates.
54. Tell me about a time you led by example.
Managers, no matter the level, are leaders. This question will show how effective of a leader they are.
55. How do you delegate tasks to your team?
While being a jack of all trades is a great trait, being able to delegate work is more effective than doing it all on your own.
56. What kind of work environment do you prefer?
Answers to this question can vary. Some of the answers are hilarious and some of them might actually be an option.
57. What are the qualities of a successful manager?
If your candidate thinks that a domineering and angry manager is the best type of manager, you may want to rethink their application.
58. What are the most important values a company can possess?
You'll find out how much the candidate cares about company ethics and integrity or if they're just here to make money.
59. If you were the CEO of our company, what would your 5-year plan be?
How well is the candidate able to realistically articulate potential for growth with awareness of inevitable setbacks?
60. What do you think our industry is going to look like in 10 years? Will it still exist?
How well can the candidate critically think about an entire industry? Are they aware of current events affecting it and related social trends?
61. If you had an unlimited budget, what innovation would you want to create in our industry?
How well does the candidate know the industry and its needs and challenges?
62. If you were interviewing me for my job, what would you want to know about me?
What areas of common rapport between associates does the candidate value?
63. If you were given 10 Million to help solve a world problem, what problem would you choose and how would you contribute to the solution?
How aware of the global challenges is the candidate, and which ones are the most personal to them and why? You'll better understand their empathy.
64. Do you come to work just to work, or do you like to socialize along the way?
Find out how the candidate values the human connections they forge on the job.
65. You have been confronted with a difficult situation. How did you manage it?
This leaves the candidate open to fill in their own idea of a challenge worth sharing. You'll gain awareness as to what they consider challenging and the details of their approach to it. Do they tackle it alone or in collaboration? How do they perceive what is and is not their responsibility? How do they set boundaries?
66. In What Ways Are You A Leader? In What Ways Are You A Follower?
Let's be clear. We all have to be competent at both at different times. Be mindful that we're all robotically trained to talk about leadership. The truly valuable aspect of this question is finding out how the candidate perceives being a receptive deep listener.
13 Topics To Ask When Interviewing Over Phone
Sometimes, person-to-person interviews are not possible. But when you are conducting a phone interview you don't get to see the candidate's body language or facial expressions.
Therefore, when picking phone interview questions, try and pick questions that will give you a clear impression of the person.
67. Why did you apply?
Their motivation to apply for the position may be the difference between just doing their job and excelling at their job.
68. What are your key professional strengths?
Knowing their strengths is a great way of knowing how they will benefit your company.
69. What do you know about the company?
Every candidate should be able to answer this one. If not, you probably shouldn't hire them.
70. What's your definition of hard work?
Some people work hard but not effectively. Figure out how the candidate works with this question.
71. Can You Tell Me About a Time When You Overcame a Challenge?
This is one of the most interesting interview questions to ask. It shows what type of person they are and whether they get stuff done under difficult circumstances.
72. What made you excited to get up and come to work at your last job?
Not everyone will have an answer for this one, but if they do take note. That one thing might get you more quality candidates.
73. What inspires you to work in this industry?
What is their root cause and deeper motivation?
74. Tell me about a time when you were part of a team that was fun to work with. How did you balance productivity and fun with your co-workers?
It's a fine balance and the two often feed each other.
75. Tell me about a time when a job or company felt like a bad fit for your personality and why.
Nobody was meant to fit everywhere. It's important to admit this and be aware and honest about the reasons. Look for a candidate that can be diplomatic, without eagerness to blame.
76. Tell me about the most unique company event or outing you’ve ever participated in. What made it so unique and did you have fun?
You'll find out how often the candidate ventures outside the box.
77. Tell me about a time when you felt like a hero at work.
Discover what the candidate believes others respect them for. Is it something that is truly respectable or ego-based?
78. What is a typical day like at your current job?
The mundane everyday life says more than your average Instagram photo.
79. What would you hope to get out of this job?
Does the candidate show gratitude for everyday small wins?
16 Provocative Things To Ask For Hypothetical Situations
Hypothetical questions are a great way of figuring out the candidate will perform in a certain situation. They can tell you more about their personality, conflict resolution approaches, and overall performance.
80. Tell me about a time you were the hero in your workplace.
This question may take some creative thinking but everyone has been a hero in their workplace at some stage.
81. What personal or professional accomplishments are you most proud of?
Remember personal accomplishments are just as important to your company as professional ones.
82. How would you pitch our product/service to a person you meet on the street?
If you are hiring for a sale position, this question is a great way of figuring out their cold pitch abilities.
83. If a client or a supervisor asked you for something outside of the scope of your job description, training or otherwise, how would you handle it?
The best candidates will always say something like "Ask for Help" or "Take time to research".
84. Tell me about a time you screwed up and what you did about it.
Mistakes happen all the time. It's the way the candidate deals with it that will tell the whole story.
85. Have you ever dealt with someone with an ego in any of your previous roles?
The answer to this one is always yes. But listen out for the way they dealt with this person as this will tell you how diplomatic the candidate it.
86. You got the job and we’ve given you a task that you’re solely in charge of and you have to decide on how to spend the budget and establish the strategy. Tell us where you’d start and how it would be completed.
A great candidate is also a great planner. This is a great question to ask when you want to know how well they can plan.
87. If you had multiple projects and limited time, how would you go about managing your priorities?
This is one of the most interesting interview questions. The answer should be something along the lines of working smarter, not harder.
88. Describe a situation when you require taking an initiative?
What does taking initiative actually mean to them? How well do they use their passive and active communication skills?
89. Describe a situation when you worked with a new team?
How do they break the ice and communicate a lot of new information at once?
90. Describe a situation where you needed to persuade someone to accept your point of view or convince them to change something.
Can the candidate communicate effectively and diplomatically without using more force than necessary? How do they set boundaries? How are their listening skills?
91. Describe a situation when you've come onto a new team or a new working environment.
You'll find out how they view their readiness to adapt to new people and situations. What is their training in flexibility?
92. How would you handle a situation where you are sure that your boss is wrong?
How does the candidate weigh the good of the company with respect for hierarchy?
93. While introducing a new policy, you face a lot of resistance from your team members and workgroup. How would you handle it?
How willing is the candidate to hear the reasons for the candidates' resistance? How does the candidate balance relationships with team members with what they believe to be the best option?
94. How would you handle workload during staff shortage?
Staff shortage is inevitable sometimes. How does the candidate view their own personal responsibility toward it? Do they come up with other innovative solutions to it?
95. How would you deal with a colleague with whom you fail to build a successful working relationship?
Our enemies are our greatest teachers about ourselves.
10 Fascinating But Fun Things To Ask To Calm Things Down
Interviews can be really boring. So why not use these fun interview questions to liven it up?
96. Name a person, alive or dead, that you would want to meet and why?
Actors, presidents, or musicians. Who would they pick?
97. How would you sell hot cocoa in Florida?
This sales pitch may just land them the position.
98. If you woke up and had 2,000 unread emails and could only answer 300 of them how would you choose which ones to answer?
To be honest, deleting all of them is really the only answer.
99. What is your go-to karaoke song?
Are they are sappy? Or do they let off steam with something loud with guitar riffs?
100. Do you like puzzles? What kind?
Do they like to get a little bit frustrated for fun?
101. How many cars are there in Los Angeles?
How wild is their guess?
102. Why are manhole covers round?
Reveal their potential for joking about something inane. Or maybe they actually know!
103. How many combinations of 2 rolled dice will result in 6?
More math to provoke them.
104. If you get a 25% raise at the end of your first year and now make 75,000/year, what was your starting salary?
Not sure if this counts as a fun question for everyone. It'll reveal the few who do find this fun.
105. You have a 3 gallon bucket and a 5 gallon bucket, how do you measure out exactly 4 gallons?
That would involve filling things halfway. Or something.
13 Exciting Things To Ask To Break The Ice
It can be difficult to know how to start a conversation. Don't worry, these ice breaker questions will help.
106. How would people communicate in a perfect world?
You never know they might come up with the next best way of communication.
107. If you were a Microsoft Office program, which one would you be?
There's no right answer. It's just a fun interview question.
108. If you won $50 million dollars, how would you spend it and what would you do?
Everyone has thought about it, so why not ask about it?
109 If you were stuck on a deserted island (and had all the food, water and shelter you needed) what 3 personal items would you bring?
What can't they live without?
110. Would you rather ride a giraffe to work or an elephant? What are the advantages and drawbacks of your preferred method of transportation?
Would getting through tunnels be a problem?
111. What fictional character do you identify the most with? Why them?
Literature fans are in a class of their won.
112. What language would you like to learn one day? Why?
Languages open us to a new part of our identity. How many identities have they cultivated?
113. If you were a superhero or super villain, who would you be?
Did you choose this character because you are like them or because you aren’t and would like to be?
114. If you could go to any country (that you haven’t been to) where would you go and why?
What parts of the earth draw them?
115. What was the last present you got for somebody?
What was the appreciation being expressed?
116. What was your most recent memorable adventure?
How do they define adventure?
117. Have you ever met anyone famous?
Who do they consider valuable to tell you about?
118. If you could pick up a new skill in an instant what would it be?
Are they a singer or a dancer?
10 Funny And Satisfying Topics To Lighten It Up
When you want to inject some humor into the interview, you need to ask funny questions. But picking the best funny interview questions can be tricky.
119. What was your best McGuyver moment?
Always useful information for company campouts.
120. What’s the most useless talent you have?
Normally you would wait until the Christmas party to ask this question...
121. What ridiculous thing has someone tricked you into doing or believing?
Who knows? They could be tricking you right now!
122. Which is your favorite drink?
Just so you know what to stock the communal fridge with.
123. How many sandwiches are eaten in America every year?
Do they exaggerate?
124. Who is your favorite, your dad or mom?
125. Which type of people don’t you like?
Smelly ones? Farty ones?
126. Do you think the Bigfoot exists?
Of course he does!
127. What thoughts were popping off in your mind while coming here?
You might as well ask the obvious.
128. What if we don’t approve you, what will be your alternative plan?
It's their job to make this one funny
10 Unique Things To Ask In A Discussion
Unsplash / Evangeline ShawEvery candidate is trying to stand out from the crowd. Make sure you stand out from the sea of competitors with these unique interview questions.
129. If you could be a superhero, what power would you possess?
Flying, invisibility? Who knows?
130. Room, desk, and car – which do you clean first?
Be warned, people have very strong opinions on this one.
131. Would Mahatma Gandhi have made a good software engineer?
*Shrugs shoulders emoji*
132. Rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 how weird you are
Depending on your company, a 10 could actually be good.
133. In 60 seconds, explain a complicated topic to someone who knows nothing about it.
Communication skills 101.
134. What excites you?
Sometimes you just need to see what they look like when they're smiling and passionate.
135. If you could be anything tomorrow, what would it be?
Gain insight to their dreams for themselves.
136. Are you the smartest person you know?
How do they weigh intellect?
137. How many cases do you need if you have to pack 112 pairs of shoes into cases that each hold 28 shoes?
Some quick math or the quality of the pause that they take reveals their relationship with numbers.
138. What's your nightmare job?
Avoidance reveals blind spots, limitations, or fears. We all have them
8 Weird But Engaging Things To Ask When Interviewing
Pexels / August de RichelieuSome jobs require weird interview questions. These questions aren't designed to catch the candidate out but to see if they can think outside of the box.
139. Does life fascinate you?
If the answer isn't yes, you might have to ask why.
140.Would You Rather Become A Creative Person Or A Technical Person?
This is one of the best questions to ask. The perfect candidate will say both.
141. Which would you pick: being world-class attractive, a genius, or famous for doing something great?
This question is great when you want to know if someone would rather help people or doing something for their own personal gain.
142. If you were asked to unload a large airplane full of jellybeans, what would you do?
I guarantee that the answer to this question is going to be more hilarious than informative!
143. Why should I not hire you?
It's powerful when the same reason not to hire you is the same reason you hire them.
144. Name 5 uses for a stapler other than stapling.
DIY crafts anyone?
145. How would you pitch this company to a friend?
Have they been all up and down the company website?
146. Do you think zombies should be slow or fast? Why?
8 Impressive Things To Ask on Group Meetings
Group interviews are a great way to know how people work together. But coming up with interesting group interview questions can be difficult.
147. What made your teamwork successful?
Being able to identify the good and bad aspects of teamwork is very important in a candidate.
148. How did you deal with problems during the group activity?
If you want to know how someone deals with conflict within a group, this question is the best one to ask.
149. How did you deal with the stress created by meeting the challenges?
Knowing how a candidate deals with stress is one of the best ways to know how they work.
150. What Is One Word That You Would Use To Describe Your Team?
Can they boil things down to one word and explain why sincerely without being cliche?
151. Would you still be interested if the workplace or work team changes immediately?
It's worth mentioning.
152. Do you use any tools to support you in leading a team?
Use of resources speaks volumes.
153. Who would you choose, someone that is slow to catch up but willing to be trained or someone that's no need to be trained but can't do the right thing?
There's a pickle to chew.
154. Are there similarities between being a team leader and a coach?
How does positivity and motivation factor in?
Downloadable List of Interesting Interview Questions
Here is a downloadable list of interesting interview questions (right-click the image and select Save Image As):...
How To Pick The Best Interesting Interview Questions
Don't know where to start when picking questions for interview? Afraid you might ask the wrong ones? Don't worry, here's the best was to pick great interview questions:
1. Pick questions that are applicable to the job
While all of our interview questions are great, some of them may not be applicable to the job that you are hiring for. Also, try and think about the type of person you want for the role. Consider their work ethic and personality and then pick the best questions that will give you an idea of these traits.
2. Make sure the questions aren't TOO personal
Personal questions are always great questions to ask but make sure that they don't get too personal. Don't ask about family background or personal issues like marriage breakup or how much their whole household earns per year. These questions will make the candidate feel really uncomfortable. They also won't accept the position if they're offered it.
3. Pick personality and work ethic questions
When you are picking interesting interview questions, make sure you pick questions that will give you a better impression of the candidate as a person. Pick questions that will give you answers about the way they deal with colleagues and how they deal with challenges. Answers to these questions will determine if they're the right person for your company.
4. Know your company culture
Your questions should reflect the communication styles that your candidates will encounter should they be hired. The interview should be a slice of life with the company for candidates to try on for size
5. Bring out the best in your candidates
Challenge your candidates while still being encouraging. Assume that they are the perfect fit until proven otherwise. Be compassionate and honest.
More Questions To Ask
- Can't think of any conversation topics? Why not check out our great list of conversation topics
- Worried you won't be able to make conversation when you meet someone new? Try our list of great conversation starters.
- Want to know more about someone but don't know where to start? Have a look at our list of the best deep questions to ask.
- Shy and don't know how to start a conversation? Why not check out our how to start a conversation guide?
- Once you start a conversation it can be difficult to maintain. Check out our how to keep a conversation going guide for more.
When you are picking interview questions, it's important to keep in mind your ideal candidate. When you identify the traits associated with your ideal person, you will then be able to pick the most interesting interview questions.
Remember, interviews can be stressful for all parties. Make sure you make the candidate as comfortable as possible. Also, make sure you are as prepared as possible by picking the best interview questions. Picking the best questions to ask may be the difference between picking a good candidate and a great candidate.
So now that you have some of the most interesting interview questions, why not use them in your next interview?